Richard Brown of Licence Check answers Barker's Dozen
20 May 2015
1 What was your first job?
It was as a general motor mechanic. I specialised in engine tuning and diagnostics and was also a carburettor specialist.
2 What was your first company car?
A Mini van, then very shortly after this a brand new Vauxhall Chevette - which at the time was really something!
3 What did you listen to on your last car journey?
Radio 2, Radio 4, and Paolo Nutini.
4 What one thing do you wish you could do better?
Cook. Although I'm the one that tends to cook at home and have some skill, I'm always envious of those brilliant chefs who make it look so effortless.
My burning ambition upon leaving school at 16 was to become a chef, but by chance I was offered a job that paid real money before taking this any further - a decent salary won the day. However, I was a chef with the Territorial Army for a while, so the ambition was partly realised.
5 What's your biggest achievement?
Leaving the corporate treadmill and starting my own business. I loved the independence and found the challenge more stimulating.
6 Who are your role models?
Richard Branson because of his entrepreneurial skills and his ability to self-promote himself and the Virgin brand.
7 What's the stupidest thing you've done?
Embarrassed myself ordering food in a restaurant abroad in a really bad foreign accent because I didn't think they could speak English. It wouldn't have been so bad normally, but it was in the US.
8 What was the most hotly debated topic at your last meeting?
System development and the customer journey
9 What's in your garage?
My Audi A6 and lots of rubbish that I promise myself I will use one day, plus a kitchen door, fishing tackle, and my brand new mountain bike, which I love so much that I unashamedly transform into one of those MAMILs (middle-aged men in Lycra) on every decent weekend.
10 What's the worst thing about your job?
Maintaining work/life balance - everything else is just a different challenge. I'm fortunate in that I really love my job.
11 What one law would you make or change?
Time given for an offence should mean that time is served. There should be no quick get-out-of-jail cards - done the crime, serve the time!
12 What keeps you awake at night?
Thinking about work, family, mulling over tragedies reported in the news. However, the most often repeated thought I have is how can we improve parenting skills and children's education so that the next generation is better prepared for life.
13 Who is your ideal celebrity date?
I've a secret passion for TV weather girls: my most recent hot lady is Lucy Verasamy on ITV. I've no idea where this comes from. Perhaps its because I live a such a stormy life and love the rain.
Company Licence Check
Job title Managing director
Home town West Bridgford, Nottingham
Family Married, four children, seven grandchildren
Sum up your company in 13 words or fewer Streets ahead when it comes to UK driving licence checking and monitoring